Prairies are landscapes dominated by grasses, flowering plants & some shrubs. See the above image for a view of remnant prairie in Fish Creek PP. There are several species of grasses – note the differences in leaf colour – some are bluer than others. There are also several species of flowering plants – creamy heads of Northern Bedstraw, pink bells of dogbane, the bright red & yellow of blanket flower and the coral pink of scarlet beeblossom. The shrub typical in this area is the yellow-flowered Shrubby Potentilla seen at the centre back.
At St Mary’s we’re starting with a pretty bare slope with patches of native asters, sagebrush, pussytoes etc (below photo). This looks pretty bare but that means there aren’t many invasive species. It’s a rather dry environment that native species thrive in and normal lawn grasses do not.
To get us primed up we invited local native plant expert, Ian Macdonald to help us learn to identify the species there now.